RIYADH: As part of Saudi Arabia’s ongoing efforts to enhance its business environment, the Ministry of Investment has developed a mechanism to grant premium residency to executives based at regional headquarters. The initiative is being undertaken in collaboration with the country’s Premium Residency Center, according to an official release.
In its pre-budget statement for 2024, the Ministry of Finance highlighted the collaborative work between the Ministry of Investment and various government entities to remove obstacles for investors.
This includes cooperation with the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs and Housing to establish an exception mechanism and permissions for companies looking to set up their headquarters within one of their branches in the Kingdom.
Furthermore, the Ministry of Finance revealed that the Investment Ministry is working closely with the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development to implement incentives for employees at regional headquarters.
These incentives include granting visas based on the company’s requirements, enabling spouses under the family residency to work, and extending the age limit for dependents allowed to stay with regional headquarters employees to 25 years.
Saudi Arabia continues to make strides in improving its business climate, attracting investments and fostering a more accommodating environment for foreign companies.
The statement also mentioned that both the Ministry of Investment and the Ministry of Commerce have agreed to activate a special process for issuing commercial records for companies with regional headquarters.
The ministry further noted that the National Investment Strategy and the ongoing efforts of various government entities have led to several achievements. These include issuing licenses for more than 162 regional centers by the end of the third quarter of 2023.
Additionally, it launched the ‘Meza’ platform, which facilitates investors’ access to business service providers from the private sector in areas such as business establishment services, financial and tax consulting services, logistics services, and headquarters transfer services.
The platform also includes the process of obtaining licenses and subsequent government approvals for the commercial registry, as well as assisting companies in finding suitable office spaces, housing, and schools for employees' families.
The statement highlighted that in continuation of efforts to enhance Saudi Arabia’s position as a leading global investment center, four special economic zones were launched in April 2023. The aim is to develop and diversify the Saudi economy and improve the investment environment.
“This will enhance the Kingdom’s position as a leading global investment destination. It will also open new prospects for development, relying on each region’s competitive advantages to support vital and promising sectors, including logistics, industrial, technical, and other priority sectors of the Kingdom,” the statement said.
In the first half of 2023, Saudi Arabia’s special economic zones attracted more than SR47 billion ($12.5 billion) in investments in vital sectors, including the maritime industry, mining, industry, logistics, and modern technologies.